THE BIG PICTURE by Vanessa Drucker


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 A second novel by Drucker (Winner Takes All, 1990) that asks the question: Can readers come to love a heroine who on page one gets boffed by her artist boyfriend at a downtown Manhattan subway station and then goes through the rest of the book with a ``sticky crotch?'' After all, the experience puts stains on her suede coat and nearly makes her late for dinner at the East Side palazzo where she keeps house for Emil Papier, a Swiss millionaire art collector. Yes, she's a mistress, but it's a hard line of work--society women disdain her, career girls resent her, and ``the Eurotash sniggered.'' Susannah clearly needs the release that her strange interludes with sculptor Dan Helena bring, especially when she discovers that her Swiss sugar-daddy is about to jump ship and stiff her on the tip--having never signed the contract that would make the East Side palazzo all hers. But don't cry for Susannah: she gets back at Emil by taking Dan's side in a censorship battle, becoming the head honcho for a group called the Artistic Liberties Brigade, and by helping out Emil's estranged daughter. Oh, and a little contract-doctoring gets her the palazzo too. There are lots of secondary players as well, all of whom can be fully known and understood after reading a sentence or two. At least the proportions are right: with Susannah it takes about three sentences.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-517-58490-5
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Crown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1992